Uniper has decided to end generation at its Ratcliffe-power station, after it has fulfilled its commitments under the capacity market, with one unit closing earlier, at the end of September 2022, in line with Government policy.
We are taking this opportunity to reduce coal generation on the GB system by closing one of the four 500MW units, two years ahead of the Government’s announced coal phase out date. Uniper’s strategy includes our ambitious target to make our power stations in Europe carbon neutral by 2035 and this action is part of our ongoing decarbonisation commitment, whilst still continuing to provide reliable power to support the GB system. The remaining three units at Ratcliffe will continue to provide reliable power to support the GB system until the end of September 2024, in line with our existing Capacity Market agreements with the Government.
Our people are important to us. We’ve briefed our employees on site and our recognised Trade Unions, on the announcement, and what it means for them at this time and will keep them updated.
Ratcliffe power station, has been supplying reliable electricity to the UK energy market for over 50 years. During this time, it has made a significant contribution to the regional economy, supporting thousands of skilled jobs and supplying enough electricity to power two million homes and businesses every year. As the power station nears the end of its life, we are exploring options for the redevelopment of the site. We’ve been working closely with stakeholders from across the region, including the Midlands Engine, local councils, Local Enterprise Partnerships, universities and business to understand how the Ratcliffe site can be part of continued economic growth in the East Midlands.
Mike Lockett, UK Country Chairman and Chief Commercial Office Power said; “Over the past 54 years Ratcliffe power station and our colleagues, have made a critical contribution to power generation in the UK. We’re proud of the contribution that Ratcliffe has, and continues to make in keeping the UK’s lights on. And we’d like to say a big thank you to all those colleagues past and present, who have been part of Ratcliffe’s story. We’re now looking at what comes next for the site and exploring options with our local and regional stakeholders.”
Our vision for our Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station site is to move towards becoming a zero-carbon technology and energy hub for the East Midlands. We see the site development creating employment based around modern industrial and manufacturing uses, with sustainable onsite energy generation. We are exploring options for the redevelopment of the site in advance of the power station closing to allow us the best opportunity to retain and reskill the workforce.
In July 2020, Uniper submitted a detailed application for planning permission to Nottinghamshire County Council for the development of an energy recovery facility on part of the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station site – known as the East Midlands Energy Re-Generation (EMERGE) Centre. It will be the first step towards delivering our wider vision for the site, by generating sustainable electricity and heat for use by world-class businesses and institutions who choose to locate to Ratcliffe-on-Soar in the future.
Earlier this Summer, our plans for the EMERGE Centre were approved by Nottinghamshire County Council, subject to conditions, and our aspirational target is that construction is expected to start in late 2022, with the facility expected to be fully operational by 2025. This is one of a number of options we’re currently looking at for the future of the site. In the meantime, Ratcliffe power station will continue to deliver reliable and flexible generation, making an important contribution to UK supply security.